By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team hosted Baldwin Wallace in the final matchup of the annual McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Classic on Sunday, Dec. 29. Unfortunately for the Beavers, they could not find the basket in the second half as the host team suffered a 60-53 setback. Bluffton fell to 5-5 overall while the Yellow Jackets improved to 6-4 on the season.
Bluffton was in a 14-10 hole when Baldwin Wallace's Tyler Colombo would nail a three-pointer with 11:06 left in the first stanza. The Yellow Jackets kept their feet on the pedal, while the Beavers could not buy a bucket the last six plus minutes of the game.
The Beavers would get on the board first when Isaiah Taylor (YellowSprings) dumped one in for an early 2-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets responded and took a 9-8 lead when Zach Cebula dropped a deuce with 13:30 left in the first half. BW was in control for much of the first stanza, taking a 34-22 lead into the break.
Bluffton would not give in, fighting all the way back to tie it at 40 apiece when Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) knocked down a jumper with 13:24 left in the contest. However, it was all Yellow Jackets from there as the Beavers could not find the bottom of the net.
Renner, who was named to the all-tournament team, paced the Beavers with 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds for his fourth career double double. Taylor finished with 10 markers, while junior Aaron Rich (Greenville) ripped down a career-best 10 boards.
Bluffton hit a paltry 21-of-61 (34.4 percent) from the field, including just 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from distance. The home team finished with 44 rebounds compared to 37 for the Yellow Jackets.
Albion College swept through the McDonald's Classic with an 80-54 win over Otterbein after downing Baldwin Wallace 73-70 on Saturday afternoon.
Bluffton will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, as they will play host to conference foe Transylvania University in the Sommer Center. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.